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Meet Heather Poe

Posted on 17th Apr 2011 at 10:38 by Joe Martin with 25 comments

Meet Heather Poe Someone I Want You To Meet

This is Heather Poe. She’s a young woman, living in Los Angeles and attending college there, though it isn’t her hometown. She’s kind, happy, eager to please and a little bit geeky. She’s also one of the best features of one of my favourite games, Troika’s Vampire The Masquerade: Bloodlines.

You find Heather in the hospital, where she’s been rushed into the emergency room for some strange neck wound. As a newly turned vampire yourself, you know that there’s more to this story than meets the eye, but your heightened senses also tell you that she’ll survive her undead encounter if she just gets some fresh haemoglobin. Unfortunately, there isn’t a doctor to hand and the hospital is criminally understaffed.

Earlier, a friend of yours told you that vampire blood has certain special characteristics when drunk by humans – mainly as a healing elixir. You pause, then slit your wrist to save her young life before disappearing back into the night. You have errands to run, after all. Little do you know that this isn’t the last time you’ll be seeing Heather.

She shows up a few nights later, grabbing you on the street and desperate to thank you. She’s babbling and doe-eyed and she knows far too much about you and your kind – you’ll suffer reprisals if you don’t take this matter in hand, but now is not the time. You send her back to your haven – that grotty motel in Santa Monica – and tell her to wait for you.

You have a choice now. Your blood is mixing with Heather’s and creating a potent, mind-altering brew. The more time she spends with you, the more she falls under your thrall, whether you want her to or not. You know you should send her away, break the bond and tell her to forget all this silliness about vampires. You know you should, but a lot of reasons run through you mind for why you shouldn’t – a lot of excuses.

You’re little more than a servant for others at the moment, so the idea of cultivating your own slave does have a certain appeal. Letting her go may bring the wrath of your superiors if she exposes you. You wonder about the direction you could steer Heather, making her serve you in a way that seems repugnant in the daylight hours.

That’s what's great about being a vampire; not casting a reflection. You can avoid a lot of guilt and shame when you don’t have to meet your own gaze.

Meet Heather Poe Someone I Want You To Meet

Over the next few days or weeks, Heather changes. Sometimes you're the one pushing, telling her how to dress or to surrender her life savings. At other times, it’s the blood that changes her. She was eager to please at the beginning, but now her devotion is fanatical. One day you find she’s bought you home some food - still alive and locked in the bathroom. The longer the ‘relationship’ lasts, the more you get the idea that it isn’t going to end well, but the harder it becomes to end it.

Heather’s fate ultimately lies in your hands. She’s a nice, likeable person and you want to do well by her. At the same time, though, the rest of LA is working to reshape you. You may have been just an average guy a few weeks ago, but now you’re a vampire; suffering and cruelty is your stock and trade.

As you acclimatise to this new existence, you start to adapt. You already don’t have to look at yourself in the mirror, but now you’re learning to hide the rest of yourself behind your new definition of what you are. You are a demon. Once you accept that, it becomes very easy to do very nasty things to a very nice person.

Then, when the game ends, you realise what’s happened and you learn something about yourself. That’s why Vampire: Bloodlines is one of my favourite games.

25 Comments

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vaderag 17th April 2011, 12:03 Quote
Very interesting. This is one of those games that I never played, but always meant to... with so much coming out these days, it's difficult to find the time to go back to retro games, even though they are so often worth it!
Bindibadgi 17th April 2011, 12:07 Quote
In LA? She could have just got a job at Wolfram and Hart.

In all seriousness, nice, thoughtfelt piece, Joe.
GregTheRotter 17th April 2011, 12:36 Quote
Um, I was too busy noticing her boobs to get the point of the story
sotu1 17th April 2011, 12:48 Quote
It wasn't the fact that you didn't like her outfit so next time you meet her she's wearing next to nothing?

Or that fact that Janette/Jeanne Voerman is in a minxy schoolgirl outfit?

Kidding, yes, this is a great game. I loved it.
fingerbob69 17th April 2011, 13:15 Quote
Tits!
jon 17th April 2011, 14:19 Quote
This is definitely one of those games (perhaps the only one) that changed my perspective on what being the "hero" meant. Sure, you're out to save Vampire society, but you have the opportunity to feast off human lives as well. It's pretty awesome. :)
Zurechial 17th April 2011, 14:39 Quote
Brilliant little article; it's nicely written and captures a lot of the sentiment involved in that whole interaction; even if you give it much more depth than the game itself does on its own without personal reflection. (Pun not intended)
azrael- 17th April 2011, 15:38 Quote
Oooh... I had completely forgotten about Heather Poe. Maybe I should fire that game up again some time soon. It had a lot of atmosphere ...and also its fair share of bugs. :)
justicefornone 17th April 2011, 16:23 Quote
really hoping this comes up on gog at some point. A game always wanted too play but never got too. They have the one game so fingers crossed!
chrisb2e9 17th April 2011, 16:25 Quote
Played the game many many times. The community patches did wonders for it. May have to give it yet another go.
vdbswong 17th April 2011, 19:03 Quote
Another game to replay !

Although i don't want to go in that mansion ever again...

Ever.
Zurechial 17th April 2011, 19:54 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by vdbswong
Another game to replay !

Although i don't want to go in that mansion ever again...

Ever.

You mean the hotel? Try Shalebridge Cradle in Thief Deadly Shadows. ;)
Tulatin 17th April 2011, 20:20 Quote
Bloodlines is indeed a fantastic game, but it really needs some of the fan patches to make it... stable. It's really a shame that troika was rushed so heavily on it too, since so rarely do we come across something dripping so much style, so much substance.

Oh yeah, and Shalebridge Cradle is ****ing unnerving, especially considering there's FOUR enemies in the normal world portions, one of which is locked away by default.
Fizzban 17th April 2011, 22:39 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulatin
Bloodlines is indeed a fantastic game, but it really needs some of the fan patches to make it... stable. It's really a shame that troika was rushed so heavily on it too, since so rarely do we come across something dripping so much style, so much substance.

Oh yeah, and Shalebridge Cradle is ****ing unnerving, especially considering there's FOUR enemies in the normal world portions, one of which is locked away by default.

There are fan patchs that made the game way more stable and they added in some of the missing content.
mute1 18th April 2011, 02:00 Quote
I cheated and made sure nothing bad happened...

Beware the community patches - some introduce bugs like quests not being recognised as completed (that's what happened to me). You'll have to trawl through the version notes to make sure you get an alright version. And some of the later versions make too many changes.

The official patches are fine if you can put up with a bit of texture flashing and some broken animations. The bugs were blown out of proportion. It's alright for Fallout New Vegas but not for other games? Why?
mpr 18th April 2011, 09:15 Quote
She looks like Garth from Waynes World... I never played this game but I also always meant to.
Xir 18th April 2011, 12:47 Quote
hmmm, my memory...don't you have the choice to infect her or not in the beginning?

Anyway, great game, really liked it.:D
yakyb 18th April 2011, 13:39 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by vaderag
go back to retro games

WTF Retro Jesus Christ
xyzeratul 18th April 2011, 17:44 Quote
for those who havn't played this game, it's sort of like Deux Ex+ old Bioware RPG.

there are lots of bugs, but I really suggest u try the unoffical patch only if the game+offical patch is broken for u
SighMoan 19th April 2011, 15:02 Quote
Great game. I finished it last year and would thoroughly recommend it to anyone who likes games with a good story and unique atmosphere.
Xir 19th April 2011, 17:06 Quote
Played it about a year or two (three?) ago with the official patch and it worked for me...
Some slight texture-glitches sure...
Fizzban 19th April 2011, 17:35 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xir
Played it about a year or two (three?) ago with the official patch and it worked for me...
Some slight texture-glitches sure...

Your lucky the official patchs fixed the crash to desktop when the player returns to the boat after rescuing Johansen from the Society of Leopold. I had to use some level skip cheat thing to get past that point when I first played.
Grimloon 22nd April 2011, 16:04 Quote
IIRC you need the unofficial patch for 64 bit support and it does fix the Society of Leopold mission bug that the official patch leaves in. There are also a lot nice mods still available (or at least there were just before Christmas when I last played). I still find myself playing Malkavian almost every time I reinstall the game, the conversation is so much more fun that way ;D
Nenad 22nd April 2011, 18:14 Quote
I absolutely agree. This is one of my favorite games of all time aswell. And i share the reasons for it too with the posters.. great atmosphere, voice acting, story, setting, substance.. was just what i look for in games. A mixture of a good book/movie, plus interactive.

What i'd like to know though - do ANY of you, Joe included, have any other games that made you feel like Bloodlines did about them? I might say "Dreamfall: The Longest Journey" was a very nice experience.
Not going to mention games like Mass Effect, those aren't really "under the radar" like these.
"Braid" was awesome too, though quite different genre. "Freelancer" and "Fable: The Lost Chapters". Enjoyed all of them very much.
hamirokuay 15th May 2011, 09:59 Quote
Guauu. sexy girl
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